Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi reveals Chelsea star he tried to sign last summer

Brighton & Hove Albion manager, Roberto De Zerbi
Brighton & Hove Albion manager, Roberto De Zerbi -Credit:2024 CameraSport

Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has disclosed that the Seagulls attempted to secure the services of Chelsea's Cole Palmer before the start of the season.

Palmer has been in scintillating form for Chelsea this term, contributing 21 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League, was previously on Brighton's radar following his £40million switch from Manchester City.

It seems the Blues were not the only ones eyeing a move for the English star, however, with Brighton weighing up a deal before seeing the player move to Stamford Bridge.

Discussing how the 22-year-old could have instead ended up on the south coast, De Zerbi said: "We tried to bring him in the transfer market last summer. We thought he could be a top player.

"The qualities of Palmer are clear for everybody, but not when he played in Man City. This season he is playing very well, he is scoring a lot of goals. He's a problem for us tomorrow because he can start in the winger position and come inside or a number 10 as well. The quality of Palmer is very high.

"We spoke (about him) but we spoke about a lot of other players. I didn't know the real situation, the real negotiation."

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Palmer's timely assist enabled Mykhailo Mudryk to score in Chelsea's 3-2 triumph over Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon, representing a first goal since March for the Ukrainian.

De Zerbi previously worked with Mudryk during his brief stint as Shakhtar Donetsk boss and believes the 23-year-old is beginning to fulfil his promise after an initially slow transition to the English game.

Commenting on the winger's adjustment struggles ahead of Wednesday's match between Brighton and the Blues, the Italian remarked: "I think it was tough for him changing country, changing the level of difficulty of the league. The competition inside of the Chelsea squad is higher than Shakhtar. But he's a smart guy, he loves football and I think the management of the club, of Pochettino, has been right because now he's playing very well and he's a big, big talent."